The petition was circulated and signed in May/June 2011 and delivered to Honourable George Abbott, Education Minister. Thank-you to all those who took the time to contribute to this effort.
Dear Honourable George Abbott and Honourable Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia,
Education is a cornerstone of our society and, as such, should be protected and nurtured. In the 2010/2011 budget passed by the North Vancouver Board of Education, as required by law, almost 6 million dollars worth of budget cuts were made in order to produce a balanced budget. Despite lobbying efforts by the school district, no additional funding was provided by the Ministry of Education.
The approximately 6 million dollar shortfall has affected many programmes in the school district. There was a significant cut in teaching positions, the school library and special education aide (SEA) time have been negatively affected, and there are reduced behavior support positions, among other impacts. Given the larger class sizes in grades 4-12, the many more classes in excess of thirty (30) students at the secondary level, and the increase in split classes, teachers are finding it increasingly difficult to effectively support students with the wide range of talents and needs.
As a result, parents are being asked to fund, or otherwise fundraise, for basic educational items such as library books and gym equipment, leading to huge inequalities between schools and districts.
We the undersigned believe that funding levels, for public education, have gone beyond prudent financial policy into a regime where the lack of resources has lead to decay in the effective delivery of education. Short-sighted planning and programme deterioration will be felt for generations.
THE UNDERSIGNED RESIDENTS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA HEREBY PETITION THE HONOURABLE HOUSE TO: INCREASE FUNDING LEVELS FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION SUCH THAT THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE IS ENHANCED AND IMPROVED YEAR OVER YEAR.
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